South Asia Monitor: Fragile Hopes in Sri Lanka - July 1, 2002
July 1, 2002
The current ceasefire and the Norwegian-brokered peace talks set to start in the coming weeks between the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) represent the best hope for peace in Sri Lanka in seven years. The initiative is nonetheless fragile, vulnerable as it is to the usual political upsets in the Sri Lankan mainstream and deep suspicion between the negotiating partners. If the negotiators surmount these obstacles, they will confront more fundamental challenges including the future role of the LTTE's armed troops and the need for a fundamentally new constitutional design. Success requires an unprecedented multiyear effort with steady nerves on all sides.